[Excerpt/Preface] James Kenneth Lowry arrived at the Australian Museum in 1976 with a recent PhD from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and loads of enthusiasm. He was appointed as Curator of Crustacea, a role that was later changed to Research Scientist, and then Principal Research Scientist. Jim made a huge impact on the study of Crustacea as a taxonomist, editor, and an avid collector.
A search of the Marine Invertebrates collection database at the Australian Museum returned 12,790 registered lots collected by Jim. This number will grow as more collections made by Jim are studied and registered.
From his retirement in 2015 until his death in 2021, Jim continued his research as a Senior Fellow with the Australian Museum, still writing papers and dreaming up new research questions.
He believed in the importance of good taxonomy, encouraged students and developed collaborations with both fledgling and experienced research scientists. It was Jim’s collaborative and friendly nature that encouraged visitors from around the world to come to the Australian Museum to work on Crustacea and add to the collections, not just in the Amphipoda but other groups, such as cumaceans, ostracods, decapods, isopods, and mysids.
The response to the call for papers for this volume in memory of Jim is indicative of his influence. Six of the papers are by former students and papers have been contributed by authors around the world describing research and new taxa of amphipods, mysids, and decapods. Fourteen new species are named in Jim’s honour.
Many of the authors have used Delta (DEscription Language for Taxonomy) databases in preparing their contributions. Jim was a keen advocate of DELTA, conducting workshops around the world where he promoted and encouraged the use of Delta databases to improve the rigour of taxonomic descriptions and ease of handling taxonomic data.
It is fitting that Jim’s memorial volume be published in Records of the Australian Museum. He was Editor of the Records (as we often referred to it) for 15 years from 1983 and introduced a new style with double columns and large format to update the journal. The range of papers published in this volume is testimony to Jim’s influence in carcinology around the world.